Art that Re-enchants the World
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The Soft Night Descending: An Exhibition of Owl Art

Belinda Recio


From Saturday, October 17, 2015 until Sunday November 8, True North Gallery presents “The Soft Night Descending: An Exhibition of Owl Art.”

Thirty thousand years ago, an artist carved the image of an owl into the limestone wall of the Chauvet Cave in southern France. This is the earliest known depiction of an owl and it is probably the oldest evidence of humankind’s ongoing fascination with these mysterious birds.

It is easy to understand why owls have intrigued us since prehistory. They have large eyes that appear to stare out at the world with a focused and often unnerving intensity; they can swivel their heads up to 270 degrees; and their extra soft wingtip feathers give them nearly silent flight.

As a result of their keen nocturnal vision and acute hearing, owls have long symbolized astute perception and wisdom. This association inspired the wise owls of myths, fairy tales, and fables, and the owl-as-teacher motif in popular culture.

The owl perches patiently until swooping down onto prey with a precision that would be impressive in daylight, let alone the dark of night. Because the owl appears to sense its prey in advance of its appearance, we associate the owl with intuition, foresight, and secret knowledge.

On the rare occasions when we are lucky enough to see an owl in flight, it often seems to have emerged out of thin air, which lead to the belief that the owl is a spirit guide capable of moving between worlds. This is why Inuit shamans wear the feathers of the snowy owl—to help them ritually move between the realm of the living and the realm of the ancestors.

“The Soft Night Descending: An Exhibition of Owl Art” brings together a compelling collection of art that celebrates the spirit of the owl. The show includes work in stone, glass, mixed media, watercolor, acrylic, oil, etching, linocut, and photography by artists Liz Bergman, Neil Brigham, Delbert Charging-Crow, Sandy Clift, Seth Fitts, Deb Kirkeeide, Catherine Hyde, Salvador Romero, Diana Sudyka, Catherine Temple, Marina Terauds, Robert Tungiyan, Sarah Seabury Ward, Davis Uglwook, Michael Updike, and others. All works are for sale.

Throughout October, True North Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday 12 to 5, with extended hours on select weekends. 

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